HC Deb 18 February 1924 vol 169 cc1379-80W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department whether ho is aware that at the close of the case presented by Mr. Art O'Brien before the Compensation Tribunal on Wednesday last, Lord Justice Atkin said that Mr. O'Brien had conducted his case with great courtesy and ability, that he must have undergone a severe strain, and that if the matter rested with the court it would very much like him to be given a substantial meal; that the chief warder in charge of Mr. O'Brien stated that he had been given instructions not to allow him to purchase any food; whether the Secretary of State for the Home Department is responsible for this order, particularly in view of the expressed wish of the learned judge; and, if not, what action he proposes to take to prevent such orders in the future?


Yes, Sir. My attention has been called to this matter, and I have made inquiries. I understand that what the officer in charge of the prisoner sought to convey was not that the prisoner could not have food, but that he could not be allowed to obtain it for himself or be provided with it by friends. The officer had, in fact, brought a supply of food with him from the prison, in accordance with the usual practice when prisoners have to be produced as witnesses in the High Court.